Music Ministries

The Music Ministry exists to adorn the worship services at First United Methodist Church. Music, in its great diversity, can lift the word to new heights and new meaning. The Music Ministry at FUMC has a long tradition of excellence and includes choirs, handbell ensembles, and instrumentalists of all ages. Choir participation includes sharpening our music skills and nurturing our Christian formation. Choirs are loving communities of fellowship and worship.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir has provided weekly music leadership at the 11:00 Service for more than fifty years. Throughout the choir season they learn and present a wide variety of SATB anthems and motets, from Bach to Blues to “Bonza Aba” African chant to Brahms. New singers are welcome and encouraged, no matter what your experience level. You will find that you are surrounded by plenty of experienced choristers as you gain musical footing and you will be blessed by the effort.

Singing Saints

For the last several years, the Singing Saints have learned a musical drama (with a story line, speaking parts, a few props and a collection of songs) and have presented it to our elder community throughout Brevard, from Cedar Mountain to College Walk and much in between. We are blessed by the ministry we endeavor to offer and we have a lot of fun in the process. In addition, the choir sings in Sunday morning worship a few times each season. The music that this group enjoys centers around the music found in the old Cokesbury hymnal. They are proud to be serial gold medal winners in the Silver Arts Competition. They welcome our oldest church members as well as younger ones. No longer an age specific group, they are happy to welcome singers of all ages, including from the wider community of Brevard. Weekly prayers and monthly lunches out on the town are a part of how this group fellowships. If you are interested in learning more about this group, talk to Tim Shepard, Sarah Lee Myracle or any one of its proud members.

Joyful Noise Choir 

(ages 4 by 8/31 through grade 1)

New Song Singers

(grades 2-5)

Our children’s choirs are the place to learn Christian songs and hymns, develop music skills, participate in worship, grow towards God as we strengthen faith, and enrich our Church. These young singers acquire new skills that they will carry the rest of their lives. All children are invited to sing; all parents are encouraged to bring their children. Children’s choirs nurture tomorrow’s leaders in the Church. Here is one way the church provides to aid parents and extended family to live out their (and ours too) promise made at Baptism. All of our children’s choirs sing in worship on Sunday morning on a regular basis through the school year — 8:30, 9:00 & 10:55 services. Kim Dodson, Sarah Lee Myracle, Carole Futrelle, Kay Holder, Roberta Ashely, Sarah Moser and Tim Shepard have provided music leadership for these groups throughout many years.

Chancel Ringers

Adult Handbell Choir

The Chancel Ringers participate in the Sunday 10:55 about once a month and occasionally at 8:30 services. They have participated in local Area handbell festivals sponsored by the Handbell Musicians of America. Ringing experience is not necessary as participants learn and develop techniques as we practice new pieces. Music reading and good rhythm are very helpful. Ringing is very much a team effort in which every member is important. Handbell ringers learn to understand that attendance at rehearsal is crucial, absence causes silent notes and dead spots in the music. New ringers are welcome to join the group. If interested, talk to Tim Shepard.

Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation

Since the present First United Methodist Church of Brevard was dedicated in 1958, the Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation has promoted and provided for the sanctuary organ and its maintenance, as well as many sacred music programs performed for the congregation and the community at large.

The previous sanctuary on East Main Street included a memorial window dedicated to Nathan and Lizzie McMinn by their four children. It was decided not to include the window in the new building. The children and grandchildren chose instead to contribute toward the purchase and installation of a pipe organ, particularly in honor of the McMinn’s daughter Beulah McMinn Zachary.

Beulah McMinn Zachary’s daughter, Beulah May Zachary, was the producer of the television program “Kukla, Fran and Ollie.” She contributed $5,600 as the down payment on the organ. At the time of her untimely death in a plane crash in February 1959, she had paid about $8,000 on the organ. The insurance she had established completed payment on the organ of $33,000. Relatives and friends created the “Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation” to provide for tuning and maintenance of the organ, as well as for musical programs.

In 1975 and 1977, two additional memorial gifts, also in support of the organ, were established by the descendants of the McMinns. In 1989, the three funds were conveyed into a trust fund, the Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation. An eight-member Advisory Committee, consisting of three “permanent” members, the minister (ex-officio), music director and three other designated officers of the church, represent the church as beneficiary of the trust. Three trustees of the Foundation administer the trust under the direction of the Advisory Committee.

Contributions to the organ foundation are always gratefully received, and can be made in the form of a check written to “BMZ Foundation” and mailed to the church office.

Sanctuary Organ

The pipe organ that graces the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church is a three-manual pipe organ built by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio. The chambers contain 28 ranks of pipes (totaling 1878 pipes) and a set of 21 Mayland solid-tube chimes. The specifications for this organ were drawn up by Alfred E. Lunsford, Schantz representative, and the late Dr. Nelson F. Adams, who, at the time, was Head of the Music Department of Brevard College and Minister of Music of the church. The organ was installed in January 1958 and was dedicated on November 10, 1959. Click HERE for the specifications of the organ.

The Kinsey-Angerstein Organ

The organ in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church is a two-manual tracker pipe organ built by the Kinzey-Angerstein Organ Company of Wrentham, Massachusetts. The organ was built in 1977 for Donna Nagey Robertson, Professor of Music at Mars Hill College, and installed in her home in Mars Hill, NC. In 2005 Mrs. Robertson donated the organ to the Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation of the Brevard First United Methodist Church for installation in the chapel. Daniel Angerstein, builder of the organ relocated the instrument to FUMC.

The Robertson Harpsichord

In 2005 Donna Nagey Robertson donated a 5-octave harpsichord to the Beulah McMinn Zachary Memorial Foundation for use in the music program at Brevard First United Methodist Church. The instrument was constructed in 1978 by Dr. Joe Robertson who was an art professor at Mars Hill College and was the donor’s husband. The Foundation asked George Hargreaves to construct a base for the instrument, Steven Kline was hired to make technical repairs and Tom Pazderka was engaged to apply a faux mahogany exterior. The harpsichord is kept in the transept of the sanctuary and is used for accompaniment in the church services and for concerts.